Prenatal care is the health care that a woman receives during pregnancy. Doing early and regular checkups is very important for you to make sure that you and your baby are healthy and safe. Apart from visiting your OB-GYN, you must ensure that your diet is also well taken care of. Motherhood invited Dr Muhammad Azrai Abu, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist from UKM Medical Centre to help us understand more about diet during pregnancy. Q1: How does a healthy diet benefit the fetus? Dr Muhammad Azrai Abu: This is the area where majorities of women are lacking because they tend to neglect their diet. Because once you are pregnant, you will be so happy that nothing else matters. So, whatever the consequences that come subsequently, you will not be bothered by any of it. You will just go with the flow, eat whatever you want, and you will end up with a lot of complications. So, when you maintain a healthy diet, it is actually good for the mother as it prevents a lot of other diseases during pregnancy, such as: \tdiabetes mellitus \thypertension While for the fetus, if you are lacking folate, you will automatically be undernourished. And, when you are having issues with the amount of iron you consume, your growing child is prone to experience growth restrictions. Or, he\/she will end up with multiple birth defects with regards to specific nutrient deficiency. I think the most important thing is you need to understand that whatever you eat will be passed down to the child in your belly. So, whatever you are eating, the final outcome will affect him\/her. Thus, that is why it is important for you to take care of this because your child might end up with a lot of unwanted complications. Q2: What are the key nutrients that I need during pregnancy? Dr Muhammad Azrai Abu: The key nutrients are empowered to every woman whenever she is pregnant. There are: \tIron \u2013 It has to be at least 200\u00b5g per day. \tCholine \tIodine \tVitamin D \tCalcium Q3: What are the sources of these key ingredients? Dr Muhammad Azrai Abu: We need to go back to our usual dietary intake. #1 IRON Image Credit: healthxchange.sg If you are lacking iron, especially if you have low blood haemoglobin or anaemia in this category, every doctor will advise you to increase your iron intake. Sources of iron: \tLean beef \tLiver \tSeafood \tNuts #2 CHOLINE The next one is about choline. Choline is good for the brain development of the fetus. So, we can get it from: Sources of Choline \tEggs \tSoymilk products \tBroccoli \tSalmon These are choline\u2019s sources of food that can help to improve a pregnant woman's nutrient intake. Or, you can consume calcium and Vitamin D. It should be combined together. Dairy products like milk, tofu, salmon, beans, and nuts. Besides that, you can also consume DHA or folate. #3 FOLATE\u00a0 Sources of Folate: \tAsparagus \tAvocadoes \tBroccoli \tCitrus fruits #4 DHA We can get DHA from seafood, sardines, or fortified food like salmon and trouts. Image Credit: wholefoodsmagazine.com Sources of DHA \tSeafood \tSardines \tSalmon \tTrouts All of the above are good sources of DHA. Q4: Gaining weight while pregnant is normal. However, how can one manage weight gain well? Dr Muhammad Azrai Abu: Yes, you need to gain weight because this is part of the pregnancy changes. But, there is a certain recommendation of weight gain that you must follow because the more you gain excessively, then, the higher the risk of you developing hypertension and also, diabetes mellitus. So, these are the complications that we try to prevent for any pregnant woman. Q5: Is it true that having food cravings is our body\u2019s way of saying it needs a specific nutrient? Dr Muhammad Azrai Abu: It is totally not true. It is just the mother\u2019s preference. Eating during pregnancy is not related to their body's response to inadequate nutrients. If the mother is lacking certain nutrients like potassium, it will cause her body to feel weak. Or, if you are lacking iron, you may get anaemia and have anaemic symptoms like pale face and palpitations. And, you will also get lethargic easily. So, no pregnant women will say that they are craving just because they are insufficient of the important nutrients. Try your best to eat what you have been advised, and along the way, if you have any nutrient deficiency, we will provide you with the necessary supplements to prevent any diseases during pregnancy. - Dr Muhammad Azrai Abu. Enjoy your pregnancy as it is supposed to be. Meanwhile, do not forget to supplement yourself with the right nutrition. One of the ways is by consuming a good maternal milk like Similac\u00ae Mom\u00a0that helps to support your baby\u2019s brain development and increase your nutritional needs. Adding Similac\u00ae Mom\u00a0Into Your Pregnancy Diet Similac\u00ae Mom maternal milk is formulated with Eye-Q\u00ae Nutrition System, Natural Vitamin E, and Lutein that are suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The key components of this maternal milk help to prevent the oxidation of DHA, which is crucial for the growth and development of your child before birth. Similac\u00ae Mom contains 23 vitamins and minerals that help to meet increased nutritional needs and support better sugar management during pregnancy. The lowest fat content in this milk also helps support better weight management when you are pregnant and experience post-delivery weight loss during breastfeeding. With just 2 servings of Similac\u00ae Mom a day, you will get proper nutrition for yourself and your baby, as well as providing a strong foundation for better growth and brain development. Consume the right nutrition to have a happy and smooth motherhood journey with Similac\u00ae Mom and AskMeDoctor! at Motherhood. https:\/\/youtu.be\/7ecu1bbOUZo Redeem your FREE Similac\u00ae Mom\u00a0by logging on to Similac\u00ae Mom's official website today and stay tuned for our upcoming videos on AskMeDoctor!.